Workshops as submitters formalise participation in Matiatia marina hearings
Two workshops for submitters in the controversial proposal to put a 160 berth marina in Matiatia were to be held this week as the clock continues ticking for submitters wishing to continue opposition to the proposal. Submitters must now formally register with the Environment Court as Section 274 parties.
Direction Matiatia Incorporated hosted both the initial meeting last Sunday and a further meeting on Wednesday evening at the Ostend Hall, providing information and assistance for people who are interested in continuing as part of the Environment Court proceedings opposing the marina development application.
Christine Gisby, the chair of the Direction Matiatia initiative, says that more than 50 people attended the initial workshop and had the opportunity to meet with and ask questions of the two process assistants appointed by the Environment Court. “We are fortunate to have the guidance of town planner Brian Putt and barrister Trish Fordyce who are able to guide people through the process of becoming a s 274 party,” she said.
Ms Gisby says that the option of joining the Environment Court case was only available to those who had lodged a submission during the earlier Auckland Council resource consent process in respect of the marina. She said that the court was working to make the process easier for the average person.
“The court has simplified the paperwork (a Form 33) and Direction Matiatia has worked with Trish and Brian to create a template of that form which people can complete and file by simply filling in their name and ticking relevant boxes, she says. The court is also allowing people to submit the form online, which will save time and money.
“It’s as simple as completing that one form.”
Ms Gisby says that the form also gives submitters the opportunity of ticking a box to indicate that Direction Matiatia will be taking their concerns forward through the court process.
“This is particularly useful for people who may feel anxious about the court process or concerned that they will need to give evidence. By coming under the Direction Matiatia umbrella, people can be assured that their concerns will be raised with the court and all of the evidence available to DMI is presented on their behalf,” she said.
Addressing concerns that people who joined the proceedings might face the court ordering costs against them, Ms Gisby said that was both very, very unlikely and extremely rare.
“We are assured that a court will only order costs against a person if they have put in a completely frivolous case. By coming under the DMI umbrella, people can feel confident that the case will be going forward with solid legal arguments handled by competent lawyers and supported by expert evidence.
“We certainly won’t be exposing DMI or those who have joined the case under its umbrella to be exposed to any risk of costs being ordered against them,” says Ms Gisby. • Liz Waters
Sea Scouts sailing away with Masons’ donation
The island’s sea scouts have been gifted a rich opportunity thanks to a very generous donation from the Waiheke Masons.
The $30,000 gift, made through the Mason-adminstered Potter Trust, has helped the scouts purchase six cadet craft for sail training, a safety boat and boat covers.
Established up by a couple who didn’t have children, the Potter Trust makes grants to worthy community groups, especially those making a difference in the lives of children.
More than 100 island children of different ages and stages of ability are part of the scouts and every year the number wanting to join grows, says scout leader Marcel Vroege.
“As a voluntary organisation, Sea Scouts, Keas and Cubs are run by members of the community who are mostly parents wanting to support the development of young people. Our aim is that as teenagers, our children will see the wealth of opportunities our island paradise can offer and not its limitations.”
He says this donation will give the Waiheke scouts more opportunity for time on the water, which is where real skills and experience are gained.
“This is a real boost for us to get more children sailing. We are always fundraising and appreciate the ongoing community support we receive, but a donation like this helps us immensely.”
Choosing to support the sea scouts aligns with the Free Masons of New Zealand’s aim to promote self-development, family and community values.
There will be an event this Sunday 15 December at 2pm at Shelly Beach (or the Sea Scouts Den on Shelly Beach Road if raining) to celebrate and acknowledge this donation, with all boats on display and a barbecue lunch.
The Sea Scouts would like to invite all past and current scouts and anyone interested to come along and celebrate with them.